The other day a client told me a story that was hard to believe. He went down to one of our local Tucson SSA offices to apply for disability. The worker he met with flat-out refused to take the application. The SSA worker told my client that because he was working part time, he was not eligible for disability benefits. This is not true. My client was working but not making enough to disqualify him from disability benefits.
Fortunately, when my client went back a few days later, a different SSA worker took his application. I thought this was just one of those things that happens now and again. Now, I wonder. Mary Beth Franklin, writing in the Investment News, reports that many SSA offices are refusing to take applications for certain types of retirement benefits. Could this really be a new strategy by SSA to keep people from getting benefits they are due? I sure hope not, but stories like this give me pause.
The bottom line here seems to be: make sure you know what benefits you are entitled to before you talk to SSA. If something seems wrong, contact me to discuss it. But do not give up when an SSA worker turns you away. It turns out, these workers may not know what they are doing. Unless, of course, they do.